Published: 29th September 2021, last edit: 1st November 2022
Before starting your studies: brush up on basic knowledge and close gaps
In some degree programmes, there are preparatory courses or bridge courses that facilitate the subject-related transition between school and university as learning at university is different from learning at school. This is why it is important to get used to it in good time and close any gaps in your basic knowledge.
The preparatory course in mathematics is highly recommended for all study programmes that deal with STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)! Whether engineering, business information systems, biology or cognitive science – if you have decided on a degree programme with mathematical elements, you should definitely take the preliminary maths course.
The of the department of mathematics ist recommended for all STEM degree programmes. It lasts five weeks and takes place before the official start of lectures, currently online. In the course, basic knowledge will be repeated, and you can set your own priorities according to your course of study. mathematics pre-course
ome departments also offer additional preliminary courses or online preparation, such as the offered by the computer science department or the digital welcome package offered by the mechanical engineering department. Just check your department's website in good time and you will find all the information there. programming course
At the start of your studies: bundling the most important information and meeting new people
Once you have prepared everything and you’ve arrived in Darmstadt for the start of lectures, the real thing begins – your studies start!
Orientation Week (OWO) – the (almost) most important week in the entire degree programme
For each degree programme, there is an introductory event, an orientation phase (O-phase) or orientation and introductory week (Orientierungswoche OE), in which you receive the most important information about starting and planning your studies. This usually takes place during the orientation week (Orientierungswoche/OWO), which is organised by the respective student body of the department. You will be introduced to TU Darmstadt’s campus management system TUCaN and learn how to find your way around Moodle or other university platforms. And most importantly: the OWO is the ideal opportunity to meet new people and get in touch with your fellow students!
One of the best experiences during my studies is looking after the new first-year students during the OWO. Here, we organize an informative, but of course also fun introduction to studying in groups.
„From an obligatory introduction event, to campus and city tours, to game and topic evenings, researchers who report on their experiences in biology and, of course, the “Ersti Party” – we cover everything. At the end of the day, we want to facilitate early networking within the program and lay the foundation for a warm welcome to the department and future friendships,” Florian reports.
Hybrid Orientation Weeks
Currently, the OWOs will take place in hybrid form. There will be both virtual and classroom elements. Orientation weeks will usually take place before or during the first week of lectures and are usually aimed at Bachelor's students in their first semester. There are often separate introductory events for Master's students.
During the first semester: hang in there
As soon as you have gained an initial overview and have arrived in the semester, you need to keep at it! Here, too, the departments and study areas offer a lot of support. In the mechanical engineering department, for example, an additional is offered by the mechanical engineering student body, which takes place during the first semester. At the Department of Law and Economics, the OWO transitions directly into an introductory study phase that extends over the entire winter semester. mathematics support course (MSK)
Scientific work – from research to scientific writing – is an important foundation for all courses and fields of study. It is hardly ever a topic at school, which means that working scientifically also has to be learned first. If you find this difficult, the TU Darmstadt also offers various options.
Offers for scientific working
- is the first place to go when it comes to research. However, it not only offers literature, but also many The University and State Library (Universität- und Landesbibliothek ULB). workshops
Mentoring programmes: benefiting from the experience of others
Experts in a certain field, the mentors, support people who are still inexperienced, the mentees. At TU Darmstadt, there is student as well as professorial mentoring, which can be worth it, especially at the beginning of your studies. Student mentoring is carried out by student mentors from higher semesters. They support new students on an equal footing with their studies and self-organisation as well as in everyday university life, for example the student mentoring programme in the Department of Biology or the BioPrime at the Centre for Teacher Education. mentoring teaching
If something lays the foundation for a successful start to studies, it is the student mentoring programme BioPrime. It continues the OWO, provides students with valuable tips and workshops during the first phase of their studies, and ensures that they get to know each other better.
“Two mentors each supervise small groups of about 15-20 students and deal with study-related topics such as learning strategies, time management, but also stress, and exam situations during the exam phase in weekly meetings. Of course, the important aspect of socializing together should not be forgotten. One of the goals is for the students to join in fun activities. This includes going to the cafeteria together, bowling in the evening, bouldering, or getting to know Darmstadt with everything it has to offer,” says Florian.
In the case of professorial mentoring, professors or academic staff from university teaching take on the role as a mentor and usually support several students at the same time, mainly professional level. Some mentoring programmes start later and can help with the choice of specialisation, for example, in the Information Systems Technology programme from the third semester onwards.
Sometimes, professorial mentoring accompanies students over several semesters, for example in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Some mentoring programmes are a fixed component of the degree programme and are obligatory to take, for example, the of student mentors in the department of computer science or Intensive Mentoring System (iMS). mentorING in the department of etit
Special support for international students
When you start studying in a foreign country or even on a foreign continent, you are confronted even more with completely different challenges. However, TU Darmstadt offers a wide range of support services for international students. The first point of contact for international students is our . Here you will receive support in all non-academic areas. The International Student Services (ISS) of TU Darmstadt provides language support. There are various language courses for international students, including Language Centre. intensive German courses
For exchange students who are spending one semester at TU Darmstadt, there are the . Degree-seeking students who are completing a full degree programme at TU Darmstadt can get a first overview at the X-Weeks. Both events include orientation sessions. In addition, you will be divided into groups, each of which will be looked after by a guide who will be your direct contact person for all questions. For Kick-Off Days, TU Darmstadt and the Language Centre offer prospective students with a refugee background with a language focus. The student initiative preparatory courses also offers support during the orientation phase, you can find new friends there. Tutor international
For international Bachelor students, we recommend the free preparatory semester . Here you can achieve the necessary German language skills at level C1 with an engineering-specific German language course. In addition, you can prepare for your engineering degree programme with a mathematics pre-course, acquire the necessary study skills and get to know the university and the city better with our orientation programme. All this in one semester before you start your studies! PreBachelor is offered every summer semester. PreBachelor
Shortly before the start of your studies, it is a good idea to participate in the , which offers pre-courses, buddy programmes or semester-long workshops, among other things. International Master's students in certain STEM programmes can participate in PreCIS (Preparatory Course and Support Programme for International Students). In this programme, Buddies from your department will support you shortly before and during your first semester. MasterPlus
Biomolecular Engineering B.Sc.
Although PreCIS took place only online last year, I still signed up for it. This programme not only offers the opportunity to improve my basic maths vocabulary and scientific language and terminology in German, but also to meet other students from different corners of the world.
“When the course started, I was still in Moldova, but that didn’t matter at all. All the events took place online and therefore everyone had the opportunity to participate regardless of their location. During the first two days, we were taught basic and necessary information about the university: how lectures are held, which events take place, how to register for them, and how to use Moodle and TUCaN. I got to see the university live in an online game and that was mega cool! What really helped me was the study skills training, where we learned how to study effectively, how to set goals properly and much more. Also, I was really happy to have a mentor who helped me in my first semester and who supported me,” Catalina reports.
In addition, some departments and degree programmes have developed their own support services for international students. is aimed at international Master's students in materials science. In the Department of Mathematics, international students are also supported in an extra Su2Ma – Success through Support – Materials Science. The buddy programme help international biology students arrive in Darmstadt. BioBuddies
If you have taken advantage of all the offers available to you, you are perfectly prepared for university life and have laid the best foundation for successful studies. However, if any uncertainties or difficulties arise, get in touch with someone who can help you. The first point of contact can be the study office or the student body of your degree programme. You can get advice independent of your subject from the , which is always there for you if you need advice or a second opinion. Central Student Advisory Service and Orientation (ZSB)
Gude, my name is Flo and I am studying biology for my Bachelor's degree. I was particularly impressed by the high practical component of the degree programme at the TU and on my campus. I'm with students@school so I can support students in their choice of degree programmes with my experiences and impressions of the university as a student ambassador.
Hello, I’m Catalina! The Technical University Darmstadt is one of the best technical universities in Germany and is part of the TU9 university network. My degree programme offers a wide range of subjects from different fields. In addition, the university is located in a science city and there are many research opportunities. That's why I chose this university.